Category: popular names for boys

By Abby Sandel

In just one more week, the US Social Security Administration will release the new Top 1000 list of popular baby names of 2016. It’s Mardi Gras meets the Super Bowl for name lovers, and we’ve all got our ideas about what the data will bring.

We’ve already shared some guesses about names to watch. Now it’s your turn: what will be the biggest debuts (or returns) to the charts?

Every year, around 90 of the names in the official Top 1000 weren’t there the year before. In some cases, they’re comebacks. Louisa and Frankie, Cordelia and Marjorie have all returned to the rankings after long absences for girls over the last few years. On the boys’ side, we’ve welcomed back Otis and Clyde, Louie and Gordon.

But for every retro revival, there are plenty of brand new names. And it’s often the brand new names that garner all the attention. They’re nearly always driven by the pop culture headlines of the previous year.

Still, it’s not always easy to guess which name will leap from obscurity to a high place on the charts.

That’s where you come in!

This year, we’re awarding prizes to the berries who pick the highest debuting boy or girl name. Each reader can guess one of each; the first correct comment for each gender wins.

The prize? Bragging rights, of course. But you’ll also choose between a private name consult with Nameberry’s Name Sage, or any one of the baby name books from our online store.

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Aimee Tafreshi Berry Juice profile image

101 Fresh Subs for Top 10 Boy Names

posted by: Aimee Tafreshi View all posts by this author

By Aimee Tafreshi

Throughout my childbearing years, I curated a list of potential boys’ and girls’ names. In the boys’ camp, the list was glaringly short compared to the possibilities for team pink. When my first child—a girl—was born, I almost named her Brooke. But I loved the name Brooks even more, and given my perceived dearth of boys’ options, I was thrilled to bestow the name upon my second child, a boy. When it came to my youngest son, my favored names varied among stylish choices like Hudson and Emmett, classic picks like Henry, and names that I felt a connection with like Beech (husband said no way!) and Blaine (the winner!).

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posted by: NameFreak! View all posts by this author

By Kelli BradyName Freak!

You must be aware of the 2015 SSA top baby name list by now, but are you a bit confused by the #1 names? Maybe you hear a lot more “Jackson!” than “Noah!” yelled at the playground? Well, by combining the different spellings of each name, we can determine which name is truly more popular. Because when you hear a name, you don’t necessarily know how it is spelled, but you do know you hear the name a lot. Where does it really rank compared to other names?

Note: These are the combined spellings of the names in the Top 1000 only. When the numbers from the entire list are added, positions could change. The main name listed below is the spelling given to the most babies in 2015 (SSA Rank is in parentheses). The others are in alphabetical order. Opinions vary on how different spellings are pronounced. I went with my best judgment.


On the 2015 SSA list, Emma remains #1 in 2015 after taking over the top spot from Sophia in 2014. The rest of the Top 5 changes a bit, with Ava and Isabella switching places. However, the top 5 of the Playground Analysis has not changed from last year at all. Sophia is still on top when you add the alternate spelling Sofia. Emma is down to #3 after the variant of Olivia is also included. And Isabella passes Ava with its various spellings added. The changes between the SSA list and the Playground Analysis are plentiful however. The largest jumps that take place after adding the alternative spellings are by Adalynn (#123 to #9), Elena (#106 to #39), and Madelyn (#59 to #12). Adalynn also makes a huge jump in the Playground Analysis from 2014 to 2015 (#23 to #9).


  1. Sophia (3) – Sofia
  2. Olivia (2) – Alivia
  3. Emma (1)
  4. Isabella (5) – Isabela, Izabella
  5. Ava (4) – Avah
  6. Mia (6) – Miah
  7. Emily (8) – Emely, Emilee, Emilie, Emmalee
  8. Zoey (23) – Zoe, Zoie
  9. Adalynn (123) – Adaline, Adalyn, Addilyn, Addilynn, Adeline, Adelyn, Adelynn, Adilynn
  10. Amelia (12) – Emelia, Emilia
  11. Abigail (7)
  12. Madelyn (59) – Madalyn, Madalynn, Madeleine, Madeline, Madelynn, Madilyn, Madilynn
  13. Madison (11) – Maddison, Madisyn, Madyson
  14. Aubrey (21) – Aubree, Aubrie
  15. Charlotte (9)
  16. Chloe (17) – Khloe
  17. Riley (35) – Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie
  18. Layla (30) – Laila, Lailah, Laylah, Leila, Leyla
  19. Avery (16) – Averi, Averie
  20. Evelyn (15) – Evalyn, Evelynn
  21. Harper (10)
  22. Ariana (46) – Arianna, Aryana, Aryanna
  23. Elizabeth (13) – Elisabeth
  24. Aria (29) – Ariah, Ariya, Ariyah, Arya
  25. Lily (25) – Lillie, Lilly
  26. Scarlett (22) – Scarlet, Scarlette
  27. Brooklyn (31) – Brooklynn
  28. Allison (39) – Alison, Alisson, Allyson, Alyson
  29. Addison (24) – Addisyn, Addyson
  30. Ella (18)
  31. Natalie (27) – Natalee, Nataly, Nathalie, Nathaly
  32. Leah (36) – Lea, Leia, Lia
  33. Grace (19)
  34. Victoria (20)
  35. Maya (69) – Maia, Miya, Mya, Myah
  36. Mackenzie (73) – Makenzie, Mckenzie
  37. Nora (41) – Norah
  38. Hannah (28) – Hana, Hanna
  39. Elena (106) – Elaina, Alaina, Alayna
  40. Lillian (26) – Lilian
  41. Kaylee (61) – Caylee, Kailee, Kailey, Kayleigh, Kaylie
  42. Camila (43) – Camilla, Kamila
  43. Hailey (64) – Hailee, Haley, Haylee, Hayley
  44. Kylie (66) – Kiley, Kylee, Kyleigh
  45. Anna (44) – Ana
  46. Sarah (58) – Sara
  47. Skylar (42) – Skyler
  48. Peyton (72) – Paityn, Payton
  49. Katherine (84) – Catherine, Kathryn
  50. Paisley (45) – Paislee

Skylar and Paisley enter the Top 50 of the 2015 Playground Analysis, while Gabriella and Annabelle fall.


Both the 2014 SSA list and the Playground Analysis had no major changes to the Top 6, however Jayden and all of its spelling alternatives continue to fall as it moves from #7 to #8 in the Playground Analysis (after falling from #3 to #7 last year). William moves up to #7, but the rest of the top names stay in position. The biggest movers were Kayden (#95 to #9) and Jace (#75 to #29).


  1. Jackson (17) – Jaxen, Jaxon, Jaxson
  2. Aiden (13) – Aaden, Adan, Aden, Aidan, Aydan, Ayden, Aydin
  3. Noah (1) – Noe
  4. Liam (2)
  5. Mason (3) – Maison, Mayson
  6. Jacob (4) – Jakob
  7. William (5)
  8. Jayden (20) – Jaden, Jadon, Jaiden, Jaydon
  9. Kayden (95) – Caden, Caiden, Cayden, Kaden, Kaeden, Kaiden
  10. Ethan (6)
  11. Alexander (8) – Alexzander
  12. James (7)
  13. Michael (9) – Micheal
  14. Elijah (11) – Alijah
  15. Benjamin (10)
  16. Daniel (12)
  17. Matthew (15) – Mathew
  18. Carter (24) – Karter
  19. Logan (14)
  20. Lucas (16)
  21. Grayson (47) – Graysen, Greyson
  22. David (18)
  23. Oliver (19)
  24. Joseph (21)
  25. Caleb (37) – Kaleb
  26. Dylan (27) – Dilan, Dillon
  27. Gabriel (22)
  28. Samuel (23)
  29. Jace (75) – Jase, Jayce
  30. John (26) – Jon
  31. Anthony (25)
  32. Christopher (32) – Cristopher, Kristopher
  33. Isaac (31) – Issac
  34. Luke (28)
  35. Henry (29)
  36. Andrew (30)
  37. Christian (43) – Cristian, Kristian
  38. Joshua (33)
  39. Wyatt (34)
  40. Landon (46) – Landen, Landyn
  41. Sebastian (35)
  42. Owen (36)
  43. Cameron (56) – Camren, Camron, Kameron, Kamren, Kamron, Kamryn
  44. Connor (54) – Conner, Conor, Konnor
  45. Nicholas (62) – Nickolas, Nicolas, Nikolas
  46. Jonathan (48) – Johnathan, Jonathon
  47. Nathan (38)
  48. Ryan (39)
  49. Jack (40)
  50. Julian (45) – Julien

Julian rises into the Top 50 of the 2015 Playground Analysis, while Hunter falls.

Does this echo what you are hearing on the playground?

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Popular Names Your Mom Never Heard Of

new baby names

Great news! Your private lists are back! Access them through your member panel. It will be a few more days till you can modify lists or create new ones.

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Any newcomer to the contemporary world of baby names may be amazed at how diverse and – to use a Mom word – different names have become. In the generation since Mom was naming you, the list of US Most Popular Name has expanded to include more ethnically distinct names, words freshly morphed into names, and newly-minted monikers. Mom might not recognize many of today’s Top 500, used for hundreds of babies now but virtually nonexistent in the 1980s.

Warning: If you choose one of these names for your baby, you should expect surprise – or possible shock – from Mom (and Dad too).

Popular baby names today least likely to be familiar to your Mom include:

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18 Hottest New Baby Names

new baby names

by Abby Sandel

Back in 1944, names like Judy, Beverly, and Bruce felt new. In the 1970s, Kelly, Justin, and Shawn were novel. And in 1994, we were busy naming our sons original choices like Austin and Tyler, while our daughters became Alexis and Taylor.

Parents are always dreaming up new baby names, taking our inspiration from pop culture and the past. Not every new name feels freshly minted. Some seem like throwbacks, even vintage gems. Others become mainstream so quickly that it’s hard to imagine the names haven’t always been in use.

But make no mistake: plenty of the most popular baby names in the US are recent arrivals, as new the newborns who wear them.

How to define a truly new baby name? There are eight boy names and ten girl names that have only ranked in the US Top 100 for the past five years. They’ve also (almost) never charted in the US Top 1000 prior to 1984 – thirty years ago.

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